The Windows 10 Anniversary Update has now been in circulation for almost two weeks and while the general reception has been largely positive, users have flocked to Reddit and Microsoft's official support channels to report several instances of their PCs freezing and crashing following the update to version 1607.

The crippling issue reportedly results in a "Microsoft Windows is not responding" message followed by a system freeze after the initial logon process. At the time of writing, over 800 comments have been posted in a Reddit thread from user 'SoloWingX' that has been documenting the issue.

Despite various suggested workarounds, the Reddit community could not find a consistent fix for the problem plaguing PCs running the 14393.10 OS build. Microsoft has now addressed the issue, however, claiming that it has received a "small number of reports" of updated desktops crashing when the OS is stored on a solid-state drive (SSD) with apps and data stored on another separate drive.

The post recommends that effected users subscribe to the forum thread for updates, presumably while it works on a long-term fix in a future update. In the meantime, the post notes that "this issue does not occur when starting Windows 10 in Safe Mode" and encourages users to "move your apps and data to the same drive as your operating system."

While you could wait for the update, here's how to boot from Safe Mode from Login and how to move your apps while in Safe Mode:

How to boot Windows 10 Anniversary Update from Login screen:

  1. Restart your PC.
  2. When you get to the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key down and select Power > Restart.
  3. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings then Restart Now.
  4. The list of restart options that appears will include 'Enable Safe Mode' which is selected with the F4 key or the number 4 key.
  5. Your PC will then boot up in Safe Mode.

How to move apps in Windows 10 Anniversary Update while in Safe Mode:

  1. Open the Windows 10 settings app after following the above Safe Mode procedure. Note: This is the same method as you would normally use to transfer apps between drives.
  2. Select System > Installed apps.
  3. A list of every app installed will show up, including pre-installed desktop programs.
  4. Click on an app and select 'Move' followed by the preferred drive (unfortunately there is no way to do this in bulk as yet).

Another solution listed by the Microsoft posts is for users to simply rollback the installation of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to version 1511. The catch? You have to be within 10 days of your initial update to do so.

If you are within the short grace period you can downgrade via the Settings menu. If your desktop is suffering from the screen freeze issue, you can follow these instructions while in Safe Mode (via the process noted above).

Alternatively follow the first two steps above and select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Go back to the previous build.